BSE: Burt the Hurt

June 23, 2008

This is another installment of my Promoters commentaries, and BSE is actually the last promotion I worked for. There is always the possibility Iíll accept another booking for someone else but at least for now this will be the last promoters commentary I write. That may not even be true as there were a couple one time bookings I skipped along the way that I may decided to write about at some point.

Well with that long preamble out of the way lets get on with my experiences with Blood Sweat and Ears (BSE), and Burt the Hurt. To be honest Burt the Hurt wasnít even the guy I dealt with when working out my bookings with BSE but I just like to type, ďBurt the HurtĒ. Rob Fuego and the aforementioned Burt the Hurt run BSE, and I dealt with both of them to a certain extent but my main contact was Mike Patry who is a friend of mine and promotes the Northern Ontario shows for BSE.

Mike and I became friends through my book club and when he started promoting shows with BSE he asked me about the possibility of working one of his shows. We batted the idea around for a while before I finally agreed to accept my first booking with BSE, the Toronto event I worked against Christian Cage. The Toronto show was promoted completely by Rob and Burt, but Mike was the middleman on that booking and the guy responsible for me doing the show.

The Toronto show turned out to be a lot of fun, and I was taken very good care of, which led to my willingness to accept the other two bookings I did for BSE. The building we ran in Toronto, while not a huge venue was jam packed with an extremely rowdy crowd. The match that night was real good one and apart from Christian breaking a bone in my throat with a clothesline a lot of fun. I think the highlight of the night was the spinarooni contest we ended up doing before the match, which, I think to the shock of everyone, I won.

The second show I did for BSE was in Mike Patryís hometown of Timmins, Ontario and was an unbelievable show. Mike promoted this show and it was a star-studded event. The main event was Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage, with Christopher Daniels and I in the semi-main. The crowd was awesome and I think close to 2000 people, which is huge for an Indy show especially when you consider the size of Timmins.

With the Timmins show being Mikeís show he was point man and replaced Burt the Hurt as my official ambassador and chauffer. Again I was treated extremely well, and had a fantastic match with Christopher Daniels. Of my three BSE matches this is by far my favourite. Like Toronto there was one minor pitfall to the trip; I lost my favourite Under Armor baseball cap somewhere in Timmins. As disappointed as I was to lose the hat I did get over this pitfall faster than I did the broken throat I got in Toronto.

My third and final BSE experience was also my career final match, in my hometown of North Bay, Ontario. Again Mike Patry promoted this show, but this time around I needed no point man or chauffer. I coordinated this show with a family vacation back home to visit my parents and had a great time. The show again was a lot of fun, and BSE really went out of their way to give me a great send off. I worked Robert Roode on the show and had a solid match, which I liked better at the time, than I did watching it back on DVD. The highlight of this show was a, Ric Flair like (albeit Indy level) send off BSE surprised me with at the end of the show. After my match the locker room cleared and gathered in the ring for my farewell promo. It was a great moment that meant a lot to me, especially with so many of my friends and family there to share it with me.

As a promotion I canít say enough great things about BSE. They run a great show, they have an awesome locker room, and they made my last match more than just a final match. I owe them a huge thank you for that. Rob Fuego and his wife were great people to deal with and a lot of fun; Burt the Hurt was entertaining beyond belief, especially his drunken singing in Timmins, and Mike Patry treated me like a King. They all were men of their words and lived up to all but one of the promises made to me.

This of course brings us to my favourite part of my promoter commentaries, the MONEY. Does BSE owe me money? The answer to this question should be obvious after reading the previous paragraph. BSE did in fact short me on my money, and thus join the list of numerous other Indy promotions that stiffed me to some extend during my career. You might think this odd seeing that the guy who booked me is a friend of mine but that is where this story becomes a little more fun.

I think Mike felt a lot of pressure when he booked me on his shows, because I expressed to him that I didnít have much interest in working small crappy Indy shows. He seemed to really go out of his way to make the shows as big a success as possible and make the experiences positive ones for me. At one point when we were in Timmins Mike asked me what I though of the show and the job he did promoting it. I told him he did a hell of a job and that the Timmins show was likely the best Indy show Iíd ever seen. I also made some comment though that he really couldnít call himself a true wrestling promoter until heíd stiffed someone on their pay.

Mike not one to run from a challenge took the ball and ran with it and did just that. After my farewell match in North Bay, Burt the Hurt, with a very nervous look on his face, pulled me aside to give me my pay envelope and when he hands it too me said in a very quite voice, ďI hope this is okay?Ē This left me a little curious, so I checked my envelope (on the previous shows I didnít bother, as I trusted them enough not to short me) and found that Mike had BSE short my pay $1. I think Burt was ready to hand me the extra dollar out of his own pocket if I was mad, but Iíd rather have this story than that extra dollar any day.

So Mike Patry is officially a wrestling promoter; he joins a long list of promoters who owe me money that I can bitch about to my grandkids when Iím old and gray. You would think things would be better at the end than they were at the beginning, but Bob Puppets, on my very first show in 1990, paid me in full, yet in my last match, some 18 years later, I got stiffed. Go figure.

Live and Learn,
Lance Storm